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As a caring pet parent, taking good care of your canine friend should appear on your priorities list. A good healthy dog offers the best companion you can expect from him and also is less prone to become sick regularly.
A good number of dog owners are increasingly adopting a balanced diet plan for their fur babies which is commendable.
We also have a considerable proportion taking their dogs for regular exercises and veterinary visits. All this works together to ensure that you have a healthy dog who can enjoy being part of the family.
An area where most pet parents forget when rearing their dogs is giving them probiotics for their gut health.
Probiotics are also known as good bacteria and they assist in building up the microorganism life of your dog’s gut. This helps in timely and effective digestion of food hence ensuring that your dog reaps all the nutritive benefits of what he eats.
Probiotics are also key in ensuring the bad bacteria in your dog’s gut are reduced and kept at a minimum. The balance between good and bad bacteria is critical in maintaining a healthy dog.
Bad bacteria in dogs are responsible for weakening their immune system and causing bacterial infections among other ailments that may be dangerous to them.
As we look at the 8 best probiotics for dogs in 2022, we will also cover the different forms they all come in and address concerns that you may need to know before getting one.
Always remember to consult your vet before buying supplements for your dog. You can take your dog for a health check-up and receive the recommended information from the vet of the best type and way to give your dog supplements.
What is Probiotics for dogs?
Probiotics for dogs are simply good bacteria that are mainly found in the gastrointestinal tract. Humans and animals including dogs have these bacteria in their millions and they help in digestion, improving the immune system, countering bad bacteria among many other benefits.
The microbiome is a term that is used to refer to all the microorganisms that live within vertebrate animals and this includes probiotics.
A dog will therefore require a healthy microbiome for proper food digestion and to keep his immunity strong.
Dog’s probiotics are similar to the good bacteria found naturally in your dog’s digestive tract. Some of these bacteria include the following; Bifidobacterium animalis Bifidobacterium breve Bifidobacterium lactis Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus casei.
Distinguishing Between Prebiotics and Probiotics
You have certainly heard of the term probiotics and that is why you are trying to find the best ones for your dog.
However, not many people have heard of the other term ‘prebiotic’ which is very closely related to probiotics.
Now, what are these Prebiotics? They are fiber sources that are used to feed the bacteria in your dog’s gut.
Unlike probiotics which are live bacteria, prebiotics do not introduce new bacteria to your dog’s system. Good probiotics for dogs will often have prebiotics as the initial food source for a healthy gut.
Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs
We have already highlighted some of the benefits your dog will get by consuming probiotics regularly. In this section, we will look at the comprehensive advantages that your dog will get for taking up probiotics.
It is however important to note that only certain types of probiotics will have specific benefits to your dog.
1. Controls bad bacteria in the dog’s digestive tract
Your dog just like all other animals may encounter bad microorganisms from outside sources. These unwanted bacteria are responsible for causing several bacterial infections which may be deadly to your dog.
Probiotics for dogs will help to reverse this process by producing fatty acids which hinder the growth of dangerous bacteria in the gut.
2. Improves digestion
Probiotics will help in breaking down food that your dog has consumed and improve the nutritive benefits.
This will greatly reduce bloating and other stomach-related complications that your pup may have experienced before.
3. Strengthen the immune system
The immunity of your dog is the first line of defense against harmful infections that causes diseases. A weak immune system is deadly because it exposes him to health hazards that can be deadly to him.
Probiotics help in strengthening the immunity of your dog against diseases by producing Cytokines which prompt the stimulation of an adaptive immune system response.
4. Balances healthy bacteria
Having a balance of healthy bacteria is good for your dog because it will help in controlling the following conditions: Bad breath, diarrhea, bloating, mood, skin, fur, and some allergies.
What is the Best Probiotic for Dogs?
Before making the final purchase decision on the probiotics of your choice, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
1. Form of the probiotic
Canine probiotics come in many forms including powder, chews, treats, dog food among others.
When choosing the best form for your dog, we advise that you go for the one that has been minimally processed to ensure the bacterial strain stays effective.
We also recommend that you choose the one that has single packages which prevent moisture contact with the product.
2. Multiple strains
Each canine probiotic has different bacteria strains with diverse benefits to your pup. It is recommended that you choose a probiotic with different types of multiple strains.
This will diversify the benefits that your dog will get when consuming the product. You can check the ingredients panel on the probiotic package to check on the bacterial strain available and the benefits they offer to your dog.
3. The Calories Forming Unit of the product
Colony Forming Units commonly known by its abbreviation CFU refers to the number of bacteria in a count of probiotics. The CFU should be as high as possible, even to 3 billion.
The higher the number means that the probiotic can pass through your dog’s acidic stomach to the gut making him reap all the benefits of the probiotics. Probiotics with a lower amount of CFU are often not beneficial to your dog.
By themselves, probiotics do not have an appealing taste that will attract your dog to consume. They are therefore formulated with flavorings that will make it easier for your lovely pup to consume.
It is very important that you know the type of flavor that has been added to the probiotics of your choice. We recommend choosing a product that has one source of flavor e.g., liver, chicken, or that which is easier for your dog to digest.
5. Other Additives
Most probiotics are formulated with other additives which will work towards ensuring your dog gets the best overall experience.
Such include digestive enzymes which are critical in balancing your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
After buying your chosen probiotics, make sure you store them well in your home. Ideally, the products should be kept in a cool place to allow bacteria to live.
You can have a look at the video below from Dr. Becker where she explains what to look for in a pet probiotics supplement
When to Give Your Dog Probiotics
Canine probiotics are beneficial to dogs and can help them out during specific circumstances. These should be seen as dietary supplements that help your dog remain healthy.
If you notice that your canine friend is having issues with his stomach and or diarrhea, you can add a probiotic diet to relieve their gastrointestinal tract.
If your dog has anxiety or stress, then you can give him appropriate portions of probiotics to manage his situation.
Situations that might stress your dog may vary including vet visits, staying alone at home, or visiting the daycare among others.
If you are planning to change your dog’s diet, then a probiotic supplement will do good to help keep up with his gut health as he adjusts to a new feeding mode.
Most top rated probiotics for dogs are formulated with dog digestive enzymes that help with food transition in dogs.
8 Best Probiotics for Dogs in 2022
1. NaturVet Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotic Powder Digestive Supplement for Cats & Dogs
If your dog is on a diet change, then it is likely that he will face digestion issues with his new food. In this case, you need to get a good digestive supplement for him with probiotic powder.
This will help him digest his food properly and introduce a fresh set of live bacteria in his gut for improved gut flora.
The product is crafted with a powdered formula which is very easy to administer. You will just need to mix 1 or 2 scoops to your dog’s favorite food and that’s it.
This powdered supplement is furthermore suitable for use by both dogs and cats, which means that it comes as a relief to pet parents of both pets.
This powdered product contains alpha-amylase which is an enzyme that hydrolyzes starch, Protease for proteins Lipase for triglycerides, and Cellulase for cellulose.
Constant use of this supplement will reestablish a healthy digestive tract on your canine friend for optimum health and wellness.
Very easy to administer.
It is good for food transition.
It restores your dog’s digestive tract.
Contains enzymes that facilitate digestion.
Might not be effective in dealing with gas.
2. PetHonesty Allergy Support+ Max-Strength Chicken Flavored Soft Chews Allergy Supplement for Dogs
If you are looking for a product that can be used for multiple health benefits, then you may need to consider getting this one from PetHonesty. It is a soft chew supplement for dogs that contains probiotics and allergy support.
These soft chews are crafted with a blend of mushrooms, colostrum, probiotics, and fish oil, which all work together to give your dog a strengthened immune system and good gut health.
If your dog suffers from allergies, these soft chews can be used to alleviate these responses by promoting flourishing gut health with a good inflammatory response.
The chews are formulated with a natural chicken flavor to appeal to your dog both in terms of smell and taste. Your canine friend will always look forward to taking a bite of this chew because of the taste it offers.
With the blend of natural ingredients, this product does not feature any sugar, corn, wheat, artificial preservatives, or GMOs. It is therefore very suitable for pups who may have allergen issues with the avoided products.
One of the best probiotics for dogs with allergies
Improves the gut flora of your dog.
It has multiple health benefits in one bite.
The response time might be slow for some types of dogs and allergies.
3. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Powder Digestive Supplement for Dogs
This probiotic for dogs is formulated in powder form and contains a mixture of microorganisms and other additives to help improve your dog’s health.
The nutritionist and researchers involved in the making of this product have put out that it is more effective in reducing gas and improving the digestive health of your pup.
The normal intestinal bacteria used in this product will quickly adapt to the new environment and it helps in reducing diarrhea in dogs.
It contains antioxidants that help in the elimination of radicals in your dog’s body that might cause inflammatory diseases.
You can use this product for all dog breeds at any stage of their lives and you should expect similar results. These probiotics are manufactured using Purina’s microencapsulation which greatly enhances its stability for optimum results.
It has an appealing taste for dogs.
Developed with high stability using a proprietary process.
Formulated with antioxidants which are good in reducing illnesses.
Might not be appealing for some dog types.
4. Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites Pumpkin Flavored Soft Chews Digestive Supplement for Dogs
Dogs who love biting and chewing can be treated to a great experience with this product from Zesty which is a probiotic supplement. It contains six strains of probiotics which are crucial in maintaining your pup’s gut flora and health.
The Bacillus subtilis live bacteria contained in this product has been clinically studied and found to aid proper digestion and strengthening of the immune system.
Other live bacteria found in this supplement are; Lactobacillus. Fermentum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus. plantarum, Lactobacillus. brevis, and Lactobacillus. lactis
This product is crafted with pumpkin and papaya which is a source of enzymes and they all help in bowel activities, digestion, and immunity.
With this enhanced flavor, your furry canine will find it very easy and appealing to get hold of and chew these probiotic bites with passion.
This product is suitable for use by all dog breeds and sizes. It is recommended to follow the prescribed dosage for optimum benefit to your canine friend.
Uses a natural pumpkin and papaya flavor which adds enzymes.
It is good for constipation, gas, and bloating.
The soft bites are easy to chew.
The chews can crumble into dust when broken.
5. Probiotics for Dogs, Digestive Enzymes, Prebiotics, Pumpkin – 120 Grams 5 Billion CFU
This product is packed with 5 strains of living bacteria with a total CFU of 5 billion per scoop. The jar contains 120 scoops meaning it comes with the powdered formulation for ease of use.
All you need to do to administer this supplement to your dog is mix one or two scoops of the powder with your dog’s food depending on his needs and dosage. The powder has a beef and vegetable natural flavor which is good for dogs who like tasty meals.
Dog digestive enzymes and pumpkin have been used to make this product and hence it becomes a very suitable option for dogs who might be suffering from gastrointestinal problems and indigestion.
It collectively helps to deal with a sensitive stomach, diarrhea, loose stool, constipation, bloating, gas, and flatulence.
Once your dog’s gut flora and health are restored with this product, his immune response system will be strengthened hence helping him to deal with infections, and allergies easily.
This canine probiotic is also crafted to treat coprophagia in dogs which will deter your furry friend from eating poop.
It contains prebiotics.
It has a good count per serving.
Deals with several stomach-related dog issues.
The powder might easily clump.
6. Probiotics for Dogs Enhanced with Digestive Enzymes + Prebiotics & Pumpkin
With a CFU of 5 million per chew, this probiotic is a good option to supplement your dog’s gut flora for optimum activities.
It has been crafted with prebiotics and pumpkin which improves the appeal and functionality of the product.
Prebiotics are essential in providing fiber sources that the living bacteria will feed on once in the dog’s gut. The pumpkin additive is there to provide digestive enzymes that enhance the activities of the product.
These probiotics provide your canine companion with a natural gut flora that will help out indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, and upset stomach.
These chews have a formulation that helps to boost the absorption of nutrients by your dog which in turn helps improve his immune response by supporting the gastrointestinal tract.
This is crucial in helping your furry friend to avoid illnesses and diseases. This product can be used by all breed dogs of all ages and sizes for their gut health and flora.
It has no side effects when used.
It offers a good taste for easier consumption.
The digestive enzymes help in overall stomach issues.
The treats can easily get mashed up when stored inappropriately.
7. PetHonesty 10-for-1 Chicken Flavored Soft Chews Multivitamin for Dogs
If you have a puppy or a dog who is motivated by food, then you might want to find him a tasty probiotic in chew form. This product from PetHonesty is formulated with chicken flavor and it is formed into tasty soft chews which are easy to handle.
The treats contain microorganisms that should help in improving your dog’s gut health in combination with other ingredients.
The probiotic formulation will help your dog’s gastrointestinal health and improve his digestion in combination with an antioxidant present in the chews. The chews have a CFU of 1 billion per serving which is a good count to help out the intestines.
Each treat is packed with multivitamins that have nutritive benefits for your dog helping him to grow stronger and stay healthier.
The notable nutrients are vitamin C and vitamin A which help to boost your dog’s immunity and improve his vision respectively.
If you have an aging dog with joint issues, then this probiotic might just be a magic pill for him. They are packed with glucosamine which helps in rejuvenating hips and joints in dogs.
In total, these tasty soft chews provide up to 10 different health benefits to your canine friend to help him live a holistic life free from illnesses.
The chews are also good for dogs with allergies because they have not been formulated with such products that may trigger allergic reactions like soy, corn, wheat, and so on.
It’s very soft and can easily be chewed by puppies.
It contains up to 10 health benefits to your dog.
Contains a natural chicken flavor for an appealing taste.
Some batches of the product have been reported to be a little dry.
8. NUSENTIA Probiotics for Cats & Dogs – (120 Scoops) Probiotic Miracle
If you are a pet parent with both cats and dogs, then you might want to get a product that can be used by your lovely pets together.
This probiotic from Nusentia is crafted to be used by both cats and their canine friends and they work seamlessly in both pets.
The product jar contains 120 scoops of powdered probiotics and it has a total CFU count of 120 billion.
The powdered form of probiotic is sometimes preferable to the chew or capsules for potency and versatility. To administer this supplement to your dog, you will just add a scoop or two of powder to his food daily.
When mixed with dog food, this supplement is undetectable and does not have any odor or taste. This means that your dog will reap its benefit without worrying about any foreign taste in his food. It can well be mixed with any kibble or wet foods for dogs.
This product contains both probiotics and prebiotics which are essential for the optimum performance of this supplement.
The health benefits of these products to your dog will include controlling diarrhea, loose stool, itchy relief, improving stomach issues, and other digestion complications.
This product is recommended for use by dogs who are just recovering from the use and effects of antibiotics that might have interfered with their natural microbial flora.
It is good for dogs that are sensitive to taste.
It contains prebiotics.
It can be used for both dogs and cats.
It is very easy to use.
The response time might be slow for some dogs with underlying medical issues.
A probiotic should be used and administered as supplemental feeding only. It might not be the best option to feed your dog on probiotics daily as it may pose unwanted risks to his health. We recommend that you consult your vet on the best time and period to give your dog this supplement.
In our product list of the 8 best probiotics for dogs 2022, we feature all formulations of these products and their advantages as such.
You might have noticed that most probiotics are either in powder or chew form, this is because most dogs like either of the two formulations.
Thank you for reading through this guide. I hope that you found a product or two that suits your need. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in a comment below and I will get back to you.